Still a relative newcomer to Kentucky, Rabbit Hole has released one hit after the next, like this small-production rye. (photo courtesy of the distillery)

Rabbit Hole founder Kaveh Zamanian hand-picked the 1,315 bottles that comprise the new limited-edition Boxergrail Founder’s Collection Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey release, the first entry in the distillery’s Founder’s Collection lineup. The prestigious platform premiered in September, aiming to spotlight Zamanian’s dedication to the art of distilling through a series of special bottlings.

“My heart and soul go into every single drop of liquid I create, and all of it is precious to me,” Zamanian says. “Yet among the vast number of barrels I laid down when I started Rabbit Hole, years later, I discovered a few exceptional barrels that had a nearly transcendent quality. Those are the barrels I harvested for the launch of Founder’s Collection—and this is the Kentucky rye whiskey that I’ve created for my first cask-strength offering.”

With a hand in the process from start to finish, Zamanian begins with his selection of wood-fired #3 new American oak “honey barrels” that allow the whiskey’s fullest expression to emerge. After six years of aging, Rabbit Hole has capped the cask-strength product (95% rye, 5% malted barley) at 114.6 proof.

On the palate, the rye shines with primary notes of butterscotch and caramelized brown sugar, finishing strong and long with vanilla, citrus, and spice. Zamanian recommends enjoying it neat, or with a splash of water to bring out the subtleties and nuances.

Sequentially numbered bottles of Rabbit Hole’s Boxergrail Founder’s CollectionKentucky Straight Rye Whiskey come packaged in a keepsake box and carry a suggested price of $195 at fine retailers.